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Early Winter Off-Piste Ski Clinic

Chamonix off-piste ski course - get ready for winter 2016-17 with us!

This early season ski clinic is designed to get your legs back in action and dust off your ski technique, ready for a fantastic winter in Chamonix. This early winter ski clinic is essential for those who are serious about their skiing!

Our 5 day course offers expert ski instruction in off-piste skiing techniques by ENSA qualified ski instructors and UIAGM qualified mountain guides. The course also covers avalanche awareness tuition and transceiver training - invaluable skills if you intend skiing off-piste in Chamonix.

Our goal is to have you leaving this course ready for the winter, both in strengthening your off-piste ski technique and developing your mountain safety skills.

We only accept a maximum of 6 skiers per group to ensure that each participant receives maximum attention. Our ski instructor and mountain guide will take you through various on-piste and off-piste skiing exercises to work on your technique, using video analysis so that you can see your progress and what you need to focus on.

Chamonix is nice and quiet at this time of year; the off-piste ski slopes and the groomed pistes will most likely be fairly empty, other than for you and a few local enthusiasts. No lift queues will ensure quick laps on the mountain, so you will quickly be getting good mileage and building strong legs. When the first big snowfall comes, you'll be ready for it!

Description

Our early season off-piste ski course involves plenty of time on the snow, with a few hours in the classroom to consolidate what you've learned.

We use video analysis to help you to: 

  • Find the weak spots in your ski technique and focus your training there
  • Set goals in what you want to achieve and direct your training there

Once you've seen yourself in action you'll have a much clearer idea of what you need to improve on and how to achieve it. Our instructors will help you to identify your strengths as well as your weaknesses, so that you can build on them and become a stronger skier. The techniques that we will teach you can be practised by yourself after the course has finished to enable you to continue your development as a confident off-piste skier.

Off-piste skiing in Chamonix with CHAMEX mountain guides

Level Requirements

This course is for:

  • Expert on-piste skiers who can already handle black runs and moguls but are beginners in off-piste skiing and wish to gain confidence skiing on varied terrain.
  • Experienced off-piste skiers who would like to improve their skills under the professional guidance of our ENSA ski instructors and who are interested in the mountain safety skills taught by our UIAGM mountain guides.

Chamonix Off-Piste Conditions

Chamonix has incredibly varied terrain and over the 5 days of this course you will learn how to handle different conditions and types of snow. Much of your training will take place at Les Grands Montets, Chamonix's biggest ski area, where you will find everything from glaciers to powder bowls. Throughout the course you'll be developing various skills that will make you a stronger and more confident off-piste skier, such as how to:

  • parallel turn on steep slopes
  • tackle moguls and uneven terrain
  • control your turns amongst trees
  • keep your balance in deep snow
  • increase your strength and stability on your skis

Chamonix's unique location on the border of three countries means that you can experience skiing the best of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps; depending on conditions we may take you over the border for a taste of off-piste skiing in one of our neighbouring resorts. Snow conditions early in the season can be unpredicatable but this is what we're here for! If conditions in Chamonix are not favourable we have other resorts such as Verbier, Zinal and Cervinia nearby that we can relocate to.

Off-Piste Safety

Above all, mountain safety is our highest priority, which is why as well as skiing techniques we also teach you how to ski off-piste safely. Avalanche awareness and transceiver search are essential to your skill set as a confident off-piste skier, especially when skiing the Chamonix backcountry routes that can take you far away from the patrolled ski areas. Our instructors are all qualified UIAGM mountain guides with all the knowledge and experience needed to teach you the basic mountain safety techniques.

Price

695€

Price per person for groups of minimum 4 and maximum 6 skiers.

Course Dates

2017
Start Date End Date Spaces
Dec 11 Dec 15 6
Dec 18 Dec 22 6
Dec 25 Dec 29 6
2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jan 01 Jan 05 6
Jan 08 Jan 12 6

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


Included

Guiding & Tuition

5 days of mountain guiding and ski tuition by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Safety Equipment

We can provide the essential safety equipment of harness, avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel if you do not have your own. We can also lend you a backpack with straps for carrying your skis/snowboard on request.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your perdoanlised kit list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Day 1

Morning : Skiing with an Instructor

The first session with your ski instructor - we will assess your ski level and film you while you are skiing so we can set you some goals and monitor your progress. We will ski for most of the day but put a little time aside this afternoon for safety skills. Your instructor will base the rest of the week on today's experience and build a programme for the group.

Afternoon : Avalanche Transceiver Theory

Late afternoon we'll spend a couple of valuable hours learning about how avalanches occur, what warning signs to look out for and how to react to them. This will be followed up tomorrow with some practical avalanche transceiver practise out in the mountains.

Day 2

All Day : Skiing with an Instructor

Today will be spent developing your technique and practicing skiing on different terrain and snow types. We will most likely go to Les Grands Montets, the perfect place to find lots of different conditions to experiment with. Later on in the afternoon we will spend some time practising how to carry out a search using avalanche transceivers and learning different recovery techniques.

Day 3

All Day : Skiing with an Instructor

Today is another full day of skiing, focussing on exercises that will improve your technique based on the video analysis from day 1. You'll learn how to develop your strengths and iron out any faults, giving you greater confidence when transferring these skills to off-piste terrain.

Day 4

All Day : Skiing with an Instructor

Today we'll make a second video recording session so that you can see how you've improved since the start of the course. By now you should be attempting more adventurous techniques and be feeling much stronger in your off-piste skiing skills.

Day 5

All Day : Skiing with an Instructor

Your final day will be spent on the mountain, putting your new off-piste ski techniques into practise. Your instructor will give you all an end-of-course assessment to see what you are now capable of. Based on this, you will be advised on various exercises that you can continue to use to keep on developing your off-piste skiing in Chamonix or wherever else you go. We'll finish by looking at your videos to compare how you were skiing before and after the course, we're sure that you'll see a big improvement!

Please note

This is an example itinerary. The exact programme will depend on the weather, snow conditions and the group's ability.

Off-piste skiing in Chamonix
Off-piste skiing in Chamonix
Off-piste skiing in Chamonix
Off-piste skiing in Chamonix
Avalanche transceiver training with a CHAMEX mountain guide
Evaluating the snow pack and learning about avalanche safety
Off-piste skiing in Chamonix
Off-piste skiing in Chamonix

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Technical gear

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Free ride skis

Free ride skis

Ski boots

Ski boots

Ski poles

Ski poles

20 - 30 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis / snowboard

20 - 30 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis / snowboard

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Ski or snowboard helmet

Ski or snowboard helmet

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)